Though they have been together less than a year, the atmosphere surrounding local indie band The Nocturnal Broadcast is full of the comfort and camaraderie that only comes from a deep friendship.
“I’ve been in bands where the members weren’t really tight, and it kind of sucks,” said Taylor Stoma, the group’s drummer and vocalist. “It’s that shared musical experience, like a conversation, that you share together and then there’s no actual conversation after.”
Bassist Annie Carlson and lead vocalist/guitarist Connor LaCour have been playing together since 2013, with Stoma and Carlson’s boyfriend Drew Brunson – also a guitarist – joining in later on.
The Nocturnal Broadcast released their first full-length album titled “A Pendulum Ache” in February 2018. LaCour said he still felt like a bit like he was dreaming and that the ideas behind the album had been forming in his mind for years.
“The idea was that there was a narrative that represented through character interactions different iterations of myself that sometimes reflected more unpleasant times,” LaCour said. “Inadvertently, it took on a sort of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ kind of vibe of me going in and out of periods of depression, this trajectory down and trying to climb back up and out.”
LaCour and his bandmates said they utilized deep emotion to feel connection to their music That kind of emotion seemed to bleed out from LaCour into his bandmates, who each felt their own deep connection to their music, and to LaCour’s music especially.
“Lyrically, I hadn’t really been able to focus on [the songs] much,” Brunson said. “We practice [at Brunson and Carlson’s house] and we don’t have a microphone, so I couldn’t really hear what Connor was saying. And when I’m playing I’m usually drowned in my own stuff, so I’m not really paying attention.”
Brunson said he realized the importance of the band at one of The Nocturnal Broadcast’s shows at Baton Rouge’s 524 Studios when someone in the audience approached the group after the show to tell them that one of their songs nearly brought him to tears.
“I never really thought about it, but when I read the words I realized why he was so moved by this,” Brunson said. “It’s got some really deep, nice lines in there that are comforting. The way I come off that song is you can be all these different people, and it’s okay if you shift around from different personalities. You can hear it in the music, how it has different levels of energy.”
The group’s sound consists of a myriad of backgrounds and inspirations. All four musicians have been playing since their middle school years, and they each have experience playing multiple instruments. The group shared the importance of not just their own personal development, but also of their development in each of their musical skill sets.
“I think we have a pretty interesting take on melody,” Stoma said, “and I think that’s been really cool to see us doing this kind of counter-melody. With Connor’s writing and [Annie’s] playing and the two guitars melding together… it gets a syncopated action going on. It’s fun to try to fit into that.”
The four friends said how important it was for them to make music that not only brought them together, but also gave back to everyone who listens and their seemingly bottomless well of motivation.
“The idea that anyone could emotionally connect with what I’m saying is pretty wild to think about,” LaCour said. “In many ways, I feel a lot less lost than I have in the past five years. This has been a lofty dream I’ve had, finding three other people who want to make the music that I want to make."